It’s International Carrot Day, so why not celebrate by trying your hand at these carrot cake recipes – they’re sure to satisfy a sweet tooth…
Christian Hümbs Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Cream
For the cake:
4 carrots, around 500g (1lb 2oz) in total
440g (15½oz) plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
300g (10oz) caster sugar
Finely grated zest of one orange
Pinch of salt
300ml (½ pint) flavourless vegetable oil
40g (1¼oz) walnuts, chopped, plus more for decoration
For the mascarpone cream and decoration:
3 leaves of gelatine
250g (9oz) double cream
3½ tbsp almond syrup (such as from Monin)
500g (1lb 2oz) mascarpone
50g (1¾oz) caster sugar
Decorative carrots made from marzipan (optional)
Finely grated orange zest, for decoration
Icing sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and place the dessert frame on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Peel and finely grate the carrots for the cake. Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
2. Beat the sugar in a bowl with the eggs, orange zest, and salt using an electric hand whisk on a medium setting for 3 minutes. Trickle in the oil in a thin stream, still beating, then fold in the grated carrots, the flour mixture, and the walnuts. Spoon the cake batter into the dessert frame and smooth it over. Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 25–30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool on the tray, then release from the frame.
3. Meanwhile, soak the gelatine for the mascarpone cream in cold water for 10 minutes. Whip the cream in a bowl using an electric hand whisk on a medium setting until it is just holding its shape. Warm the almond syrup in a pan, squeeze out the gelatine and dissolve it in the warmed syrup. Stir the mascarpone and sugar together in a bowl. Stir around 2 tbsp of the mascarpone mix into the syrup mixture, then swiftly combine this with the remaining mascarpone cream. Finally, carefully fold in the cream. Transfer the whole thing to a bowl, cover and refrigerate to set for 2 hours.
4. Stir up the mascarpone cream with a balloon whisk. Cut the carrot sponge horizontally into 3 pieces and spread the base section with cream. Lay the second section on top and cover with cream. Put the third piece on top, spread it with cream and refrigerate the cake for a further 2 hours. Decorate with marzipan carrots (if using), walnuts, grated orange zest, caramel sauce, and icing sugar.
Bake to Impress by Christian Hümbs (DK Publishing, £14.99)
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Carrot Cake
4 medium eggs
150g caster sugar
300ml rapeseed oil, or 150ml each rapeseed and sunflower oil for a slightly lighter flavour
300g wholemeal selfraising flour
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3–4 large carrots, about 350g in total, peeled and finely grated
About 150g runny honey
1. Grease a 23cm springform cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.
2. Put the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and beat together with a hand-held electric beater, or using a freestanding mixer, for about 10 minutes, until pale, foamy and slightly thickened. Add the oil and beat for another minute or two.
3. Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda together into the mixture. Tip in any bran left in the sieve, too. Fold in gently. Finally, fold in the grated carrot. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in an oven preheated to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 for 45–50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and stand the tin on a wire rack.
4. Put the honey into a small saucepan over a low heat and heat gently until it is liquid. Pierce the surface of the hot cake all over with a small knife, or a skewer. Slowly pour on the hot honey so it soaks into the cake. Leave to cool slightly in the tin before turning out. Serve warm or cold.
River Cottage Every Day by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Bloomsbury, £26)
Waitrose Carrot Cake
300g coarsely grated carrot (about 4 large carrots)
280g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground ginger
4 large eggs
200g caster sugar
200g soft light brown sugar
250ml light olive oil
1 large orange, zest
For the mascarpone frosting
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
250g icing sugar, sifted
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
200g cream cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4; lightly grease 2 deep 20cm cake tins and line the bases with baking parchment. To make the cakes, put the grated carrot in a bowl with the sultanas; set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices. In another bowl, using a balloon whisk, whisk together the eggs, sugars and olive oil until evenly combined. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and whisk together lightly until just combined. Add the carrot mixture and the orange zest, then stir gently to combine. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared tins and bake for 30-40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centres of the cakes comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
2. To make the frosting, put the butter in a large bowl and, using electric beaters, beat for about 5 minutes, until smooth and silky. Slowly incorporate the icing sugar and once combined, beat on high speed for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla bean paste, mascarpone and cream cheese and beat together briefly for 2-3 minutes, until just combined (don’t beat the cheese for too long, otherwise it will start to break down
and the frosting will be too loose).
3. To decorate, use a large serrated knife to slice each cake carefully through the middle into 2 (see tip on page 107). Scrape the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a plain round piping tip, about 1cm wide. Put one of the bottom layers onto a flat plate or cake stand. Pipe peaks of the frosting around the edge of the cake, then repeat in the middle of the cake in concentric circles. Repeat with the remaining cake layers. This is best served on the day it is made.
Recipe provided courtesy of Waitrose.